Barry J Weinberg, MD

Pulmonary Medicine

Our Services / Shortness of Breath

Shortness of Breath services offered in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Feeling like you can’t get enough oxygen into your lungs is not just a scary experience; it could also be a sign of lung disease. At his New York City practice on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, experienced pulmonologist Barry J Weinberg, MD, uses state-of-the-art lung function testing technology to evaluate your shortness of breath and determine its cause. With his expert help, you can recover from or manage your condition successfully. To find out more, call the office of Barry J Weinberg, MD, today or book an appointment online.

Shortness of Breath Q & A

What is shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is the feeling that you can’t get enough air into your lungs.

Shortness of breath is a common symptom usually due to a heart or lung condition. As these organs are so closely linked, it’s sometimes both. Your heart uses the oxygen supplied by your lungs to replenish your blood, and your lungs remove carbon dioxide. Problems with these processes can result in shortness of breath.


What conditions can cause shortness of breath?

Heart-related shortness of breath could be due to a heart attack or conditions like congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy (a heart muscle disease), or pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium, a layer of tissue surrounding your heart).

Shortness of breath connected to lung problems could be caused by:

  • Asthma
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Pneumonia
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in a lung artery)
  • Pleurisy (inflammation of the lung membrane)
  • Pulmonary edema (excess fluid in the lungs)
  • Pleural effusion (fluid buildup around the lungs)
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • COVID-19
  • Tuberculosis

You could also suffer shortness of breath if you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or suffer a panic attack.


How is shortness of breath diagnosed?

If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, the first step is to find out if you have a lung condition. Dr. Weinberg has fully-equipped facilities for diagnosing lung conditions. Following a physical exam, medical history review, and a discussion of your symptoms, he might arrange lung function testing for you. Possible tests include:

  • Spirometry
  • Peak flow meter
  • Lung Volumes
  • Methacholine challenge
  • Nitric oxide test
  • Gas diffusion test
  • Arterial blood gas test
  • Exercise testing
  • Bronchodilator test

After evaluating your test results, Dr. Weinberg creates a personalized treatment plan for you. 


How is shortness of breath treated?

The treatment you need for shortness of breath depends on the cause. You might take medications like antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection. If you have asthma or COPD, drugs that open your airways and reduce inflammation can be helpful.

To find out why you’re experiencing shortness of breath and get effective treatment, call Barry J Weinberg, MD, today or book an appointment online.